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The Principal Fix

The Puzzler

RAY: There's a high school election for senior class president, and there are three kids running, Tom, Ted, and Tim. As luck would have it they each get exactly the same number of votes. One, there's a lot of apathy in that particular school I guess. Anyway the principal called Tom, Ted and Tim into his office and says, "Look guys, we could have another election but there's a pretty good chance that the count's going to come out exactly the same. So let's just throw each of your names into a hat, and I'll pull one out, and that'll be the winner, OK?" Well they all agree. Sure. So he takes a clean sheet, you know, of plain white paper, eight and a half by eleven, and he folds it into thirds, and then like teachers often do, holding the paper on the sharp edge of his desk he tears the paper so that three pieces are exactly or pretty much exactly the same size. He hands each kid a piece and says, "Write your name here."

And just to make sure it's on the up and up, he says, "Guys, you can blindfold me and I'm going to hold the hat. We're going to put the three names in a hat, and I'm going to hold the hat above my head and I'm going to reach in and pull out the winner's name." Now the principal wants Ted to win because the other two kids are knuckleheads and he thinks, "If either one of these kids becomes president the school is going down, and I'm going to lose my job." So the question is how does the principal fix it so Ted wins?

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